How better to gain insight into child and teen homelessness than through the artwork and words of young people themselves?
Our local HAYC (Housing Authority of Yamhill County) participates each year in a national poster contest for children on the topic: What Home Means To Me. The 12 winners are featured in a yearly calendar that is shared with all members of Congress and many other leaders.
For the third time now, Yamhill County has had a runner-up in this contest. We offer congratulations to the winners, the other entrants, and our local HAYC. (We've also been pleased to play a small part in helping to purchase art materials needed for the posters.)
Below is a video link to the calendar for 2018. The July runner-up, Misha, age 10, from Newberg, depicts a sweet home with children in a bedroom window and a caption stating: Home is more than a structure--it is where I grow up...and grow memories. Home is where I can keep my valuables such as food and clothes. Home is where I can have fun with my family.
As you look through the calendar, you'll see that the themes of home being a place for love, safety, and hope emerge. Adelia, age 11, from Lincoln Nebraska, writes that home is not a big fancy house, but a place where your family is always there for you.
We are living in a time of urgency, when thousands of children already in this country are either homeless or living in uncertain situations, and when children trying to enter are being separated from loved ones and placed in highly unsuitable shelters.
In the past twelve years since our founding, we've been able to approve a large number of applications for temporary rental assistance or initial rental deposits from families facing eviction or seeking a stable home. This can be expensive, and we're often fortunate to share costs with one or two other nonprofits in the region that are able to fund requests for rent. Please know that your support is critical to our being able to respond. Each time you help us to keep a family from being homeless, you are also helping countless children and teens.
Thank you for reading and caring, and please leave thoughts and comments below.
You might expect this first blog to be about donations, but it's actually more about the supermarket checkout line.
As a foundation, our primary job is to raise money and spend it wisely. We gratefully accept donations of any amount—small or large. Certainly, money is important, and money helps.
At the same time, our larger mission is to help create more compassionate, equitable communities through monetary means and also otherwise.
What is the otherwise?
In How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist, Nicole Boles says that a philanthropist “tries to make a difference with whatever riches he or she possesses.” I’m struck by her statement: “Almost every daily action can result in a small but deeply meaningful act of giving.”
Wonderful examples of such acts are found in The Good Deed Guide by James and Lisa Grace.
Hmm. Of course these things do take some effort, awareness, and even practice. When I’m running late, I find myself driving closely behind the car in front of me so as to keep from letting others in. (This could be solved quite easily, I realize, if I’d make an attempt to set out a bit earlier.)
Another helpful book with enough ideas for a lifetime is instant karma: 8,879 ways to give yourself and others good fortune right now by Barbara Ann Kipfer. My own copy has stickies and underlines everywhere. A few of the suggestions:
I find myself particularly drawn to the Kipfer’s emphasis on giving to oneself, which so many of us can neglect when trying to do things for others. Some examples:
While obviously all of us at Give a Little seek and value your monetary donations as a way of promoting good, we also wish to emphasize that every one of us can do remarkable good without spending a cent.
As individuals members of our Give a Little community:
Thank you for reading, and please leave comments or ideas below.